#BookReviews! @fredsdiary1981 @hmkindt @nonniejules @EnigmaSeries #RRBCAuthors

I read constantly. And it’s been a while since I’ve taken the time to post some of my reviews. So, today I’m going to remedy that.

The books and reviews are listed in random order.

THE BLURB:

A holiday can change everything…

…it did for Fred.

He went on a two-week break with three friends to the Spanish island of Ibiza in July 1976. It was so enjoyable they all vowed to come back for the following season.

In April 1977, Fred returned to Ibiza, alone, in pursuit of his dream.

Behind him, he left his family, his girlfriend, and a promising career in banking.

Challenges lay ahead.

This would be no holiday.

He needed a place to stay and to find work that would sustain him through the next six months.

This true to life memoir follows 21-year-old Fred’s adventures as he acclimatises to living abroad. In a time before instant communication, he keeps in touch with family and friends by letter. They are his lifeline to home.

If you enjoy reading about people’s life-changing experiences, then this book is for you.

MY 5 STAR REVIEW:

I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir from Robert (aka Fred) Fear! As he took me along with him on the many adventures he had in Ibiza during the summer of 1977, I never lost interest or got bored. That summer changed the author’s life. It was not all roses. He had to work hard at different jobs to make ends meet. He slept in a tiny room and shared a bathroom with other tenants. But the magic of the island outweighed the discomforts. Mr. Fear gave me an inside view of moving to a foreign place and becoming a local. He immersed himself in the culture, the people, and the jobs he had to work in order to stay the entire summer. It became apparent throughout the story, that he grew through the experience. His confidence increased and his determination to have more adventures grew. This is a well-written memoir. The author made me feel as if I was there with him. I found it to be highly interesting and entertaining. Anyone who loves to read true stories will surely enjoy this one!

PURCHASE LINK:

THE BLURB:

Dottie Gale would hitch up with a tornado if it took her out of Kansas. Stuck in a dead-end teaching job beside her cheating ex Corbin isn’t her idea of a dream life. So when her wicked new principal Maxine Westward gifts her a trip to Las Vegas, she grabs her ruby slip-ons and heads for the nearest yellow brick road.

Forced to drive the entire way, Dotty picks up the motley trio of a dimwitted hunk, a heartless drifter, and a cowardly educator along the way. Far out of her comfort zone, the Kansas teacher and her passengers embark on a surprising adventure. But when Dottie reaches her destination and receives an unexpected declaration of love, she wonders if the journey has changed her far too much to accept…

As Westward’s fiendish plan to ruin her trip takes shape, will Dottie finally find her happiness somewhere over the rainbow?

Ruby Slips and Poker Chips: The Modern Tale of Dorothy Gale is an award-winning romantic comedy. If you like wise-cracking heroines, heartwarming stories, and hilarious twists and turns, then you’ll love Heather Kindt’s emerald of a novel.

MY 4 STAR REVIEW:

While this story is slightly comparable to the classic tale of the Wizard of Oz, I loved the way the author delivered it in a modern-day setting with realistic characters. Dorothy (Dottie) Gale wants out of small-town Kansas, especially after a new principal takes over the school where she teaches. She’s stuck in what she sees as a boring life with no future. Her childhood friend turned boyfriend, turned cheater (she thinks) is her main reason for wanting to run. So, when she is handed the chance to attend a teacher’s conference in Las Vegas, she jumps at it. But there are drawbacks. The evil principal insists that Dottie drive from Kansas to Las Vegas, and to save money, has to pick up two other teachers along the way. And that’s not all she picks up. A hitchhiker named Tina, joins the trio. The group has lots of adventures along the way including a visit to a county jail in handcuffs. I found this a very entertaining book to read. The choices Dottie is faced with, as well as the lessons she learns, are well executed. The author did a great job of telling this story and the book is error-free. If you like lighthearted stories with a touch of sizzling romance, you will enjoy this story.

PURCHASE LINK:

THE BLURB:

During this pandemic, I offer a 5-part Micro Read series on how COVID19 has impacted and interrupted lives around the world. Since the beginning of this crisis, I have followed and also documented every step and misstep along the way by the current administration in Washington, and also the plus and minus moments of our local leaders around the world. As deep as we are right now into this disease, some still don’t really know what’s going on, or how it’s impacting them – mentally, physically and emotionally. Now, the issue has moved extremely close to my heart. They want to send our kids back to school during the worst pandemic of our lives.

I am a Mom who values many things, but above all else, I am a Mom who values life.

Everyone is sharing their opinion about what we’re living through and how it should all be handled – now it’s time that you heard mine.

MY 4 STAR REVIEW:

Author, Nonnie Jules is well-known as someone who does not shy away from sensitive topics. In her new short story release, she stays true to that persona. She brings some valid points to light along with solid references and research. In the midst of this unprecedented pandemic, we face very uncertain times, not only in the world of education but in every facet of our lives. This short book is filled with advice, reasoning, and logic. My hat is off to educators everywhere and my hat is off to this author for putting together such a comprehensive narrative regarding the issues we face in our current times.

PURCHASE LINK:

THE BLURB:

Hopelessly in love and desperately fearful!

Zara and Buzz are products of vastly different upbringings. Their chance meeting ignites attraction they must explore. Even with lies and omissions, they find themselves falling in love. For them its good thing love is blind.

A defining incident offers the opportunity to explore a future together. They move away from everything for a fresh start. They optimize their experiences to build a life they never imagined in the Caribbean. Then their demons’ surface.

Zara distrusts love because of her past. She’s afraid to commit anyone. Buzz wants love, better than what he’d lost.

Will Zara slip through his fingers? Can they honestly bury their past? If those secrets are shared, will their love be destroyed?

MY 4 STAR REVIEW:

I love the idea of this story. It starts with a high tension rescue that grabbed me right away. Buzz and Zara have dark pasts, but they deeply love each other. This short story covers a span of several years within the twenty-five pages, which leaves a lot to the reader’s imagination. But, the main focus is the deep love they feel for each other. Buzz continuously, over the years, asks Zara to marry him and she always declines. We get a glimpse into her sordid past and what is holding her back from the big commitment. We also get to see the two share their passion for technology by imparting their knowledge to students who are hungry to learn, as they settle on the island of Puerto Rico. The ending is somewhat jolting. And it leaves the story open-ended for more, which I hope these authors will explore. I’d like to see this love resolved. While there is some inconsistency with points of view throughout the story, it is error-free and engaging. It can be read in about thirty to forty minutes.

PURCHASE LINK:

I hope at least one of the books grabbed your attention and that you are now hurrying over to Amazon to make your purchase! Thank you for stopping by and supporting these authors!

#RWISA “RISE-UP” TOUR DAY 4, Robert Fear @fredsdiary1981 #RRBC #RRBC_COMMUNITY #RWISARISEUP

Today, I welcome Robert Fear to my blog site to share his views on social distancing and the COVID-19.

MOTIVATING OTHERS ON SOCIAL MEDIA

by Robert Fear

If anyone had told me at the start of the year what was going to happen in 2020, I would have thought they were crazy.

Over the past few weeks, I have learned to cope with this new reality. The initial feelings of anxiety and fear subsided, and my views changed as I became more sensitive to others and aware of how fragile our society is.

We are among the lucky ones. Although work from my day job has evaporated, my wife and I live in a comfortable house, our three cats keep us company, and we have enough money to last through this crisis. As a bonus, the weather has been warm and sunny for the daily exercise walks we are allowed to take.

When the lockdown was implemented, my thoughts turned to those less fortunate. Older people unable to leave home, those suffering from grief and depression, and residents of countries with even stricter lockdowns. I thought about how I might share my experiences on social media, to give motivation and bring a smile to the faces of those within my reach.

Living where we do in Eastbourne, on the south-east coast of England, we have many beautiful spots close to our home. There are several parks filled with trees, plants, grassland and lakes. Not far away is a farm track that winds through fields where horses, sheep and cattle graze. Birds sing as though nothing is wrong with the world. Then there is the seafront, along which runs a three-mile promenade, with views out across the English Channel.

Because of the lockdown and social distancing measures, there have been few people around on my daily walks. I gained a sense of tranquillity and tried to capture those precious moments on my smartphone, so I could share them with others.

With video clips, I recorded nature’s sights and sounds. These included gentle swaying trees with uplifting birdsong in the background, views across idyllic farmland to the hills of the South Downs, and waves crashing onto the shingle beach on a windy but sunny afternoon.

Amongst other subjects, my photos captured the beauty of spring flowers, rainbows drawn by children hung in windows, colourful beach huts, seafront carpet gardens, and the pier’s golden dome sparkling in the sunlight against a backdrop of clear blue skies.

I posted these to Facebook, both on my timeline and in two groups. In addition, I shared selected videos and photos on Instagram and Twitter. Three of those images are included here.

A close up of a bunch of pink flowers

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Cherry blossom

A flock of seagulls standing next to a body of water

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Social distancing seagulls

A building next to a window

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Children’s rainbow drawings

The responses to my posts have been encouraging and there has been positive feedback from around the world:

Ah, the sound of the sea. Just what I needed. Very clear skies.  Robyn – New Zealand.

Oh, happy memories of a childhood near Brighton! The shingle beach and big waves. Thanks for sharing.  Jackie – France.

I don’t know about you, but I’m appreciating spring more this year. It’s so lovely to watch the birds, butterflies, bees and other creatures carrying on with their daily lives amid the blossoms and blooms.  Jay – Turkey.

Ebony was watching the birds outside from her perch and listening to the birds on your video thinking she was in real time.  Laurie – USA.

One can’t be stressed watching the cows graze and listening to the bird song.  Carola – Canada.

Lovely sights and sounds! Thanks!  Susan – Uruguay.

How lucky to be able to go out for a walk. Thanks for sharing the pics.  Patricia – Spain.

If you are on Facebook and want to view the video clips and see more photos, please send me a friend request and visit my page by clicking here.

As I bring this piece to a close in late April, the weather here has changed, and there is some much-needed rain. Our first rose of spring has chosen this day to make an appearance. A sign of hope for the future?

A close up of a flower

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Please take a moment to visit Robert Fear’s RWISA Author Page!

Thank you for supporting today’s RWISA author along the RWISA “RISE-UP” Blog Tour!  To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the main RWISA”RISE-UP” Blog Tour page on the RWISA site.  For a chance to win a bundle of 15 e-books along with a $5 Amazon gift card, please leave a comment on the main RWISA”RISE-UP” Blog Tour page!  Once you’re there, it would be nice to also leave the author a personal note on their dedicated tour page, as well.  Thank you, and good luck!  

Day #13 Welcome to WATCH RWISA WRITE Showcase Tour #RRBC #RRBCWRW

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Thank you all for joining me today on this amazing showcase tour being sponsored by RWISA (RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS), an elite branch of the amazing RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB!

This showcase will feature 19 talented writers, each having their own special day to be featured on multiple blogs.  Please take a moment after you’ve read the author’s work, to click on the link to take you to that author’s profile page on the  RWISA site.  On my blog, that link will be the author’s name.

Today’s special guest: Robert Fear

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Afternoon Cycle Ride by Robert Fear

Ibiza, May 1977

As I set out on my cycle ride, the streets of Es Cana were busy with pale-faced holidaymakers exploring their new surroundings. I almost collided with a couple who looked the wrong way as they crossed the road.

The hire bike was a boneshaker, and as I headed out of town to the west, the road surface was uneven. The ride became rougher, and I swerved to avoid potholes. Shocks vibrated through the handlebars and I lost my grip twice. Despite this, the breeze in my face and the sun on my back felt good.

Roads twisted and turned as I followed the coast around Punta Arabi and through the outlying villages. I passed pine tree fringed sandy beaches and caught glimpses of the sea. New tourist developments dotted the coastline, in between the traditional houses, shops, and bars.

After a while, I came to the dusty main road that ran from the north of Es Cana. Cycling westwards towards Santa Eulalia I soon found myself in the main square where I had changed buses when I first arrived from Ibiza Town in April.

My parched throat led me in search of a drink. Opposite the Guardia Civil offices, I spotted Fred’s Bar and decided it was a good place to quench my thirst. With the bike propped against an outside wall, I walked into the gloomy interior and blinked after the bright sunshine.

At the bar, I ordered a draught beer. As I stood and sipped it, I glanced around and saw groups of men sat at the wooden tables. English was the main language being spoken, and the newspapers were days-old copies of The Sun. I felt out of place amongst the rustling of papers and whispered conversations.

Chalked on a board was a small menu of English food. I ordered Shepherd’s Pie with my next beer.

‘Take a seat at that corner table and I’ll bring it over in a few minutes,’ commanded the gruff Yorkshire voice from behind the bar. I assumed that was Fred.

‘Cheers mate,’ I smiled and walked over to the seat he had indicated.

Sat on the hard, wooden chair I placed my drink on the table.

I looked up and saw a man limping from the bar. A large glass of whisky and ice almost slipped from his hand. Without a word, he slumped down opposite me. He shouted greetings to others but ignored me. His voice was slurred, and he had a distinct American accent.

My food arrived, and I dug into it with a vengeance. The cycle ride had given me a good appetite. As I polished off the plate, my table companion burped and glanced towards me. I smiled at him and he grinned,

‘Looked like you enjoyed that.’

‘Yes, it was great,’ I replied, ‘have you tried it?’

‘No man, I’m not into food much, I prefer this stuff,’ he slurred and pointed to his drink.

He pulled out a pack of Camel cigarettes, flipped back the top and offered me one.

I accepted it and gave him a light. We both took a deep drag on the rough taste and exhaled plumes of smoke. He moved closer and I could make out a mass of scars on his face and arms.

‘Do you live in Santa Eulalia?’ I asked, ‘you seem to know lots of people here.’

‘Yea man, been here ages now. Came to Ibiza in ’73. I’ve got a small apartment just outside the town, overlooking the sea.’

I looked at him with curiosity, ‘so you work here then?’

He threw back his head and laughed. All eyes turned in his direction as the raucous laugh subsided into chuckles.

‘No man, I’m pensioned off from the Army. I was in Vietnam. Halfway through my second tour I got blown to smithereens and was lucky to survive. They shipped me to the States, filled my body with metal and stitched me up. I was in the hospital for months and still go there twice a year for check-ups.’

My jaw dropped, and I looked at him with a new respect. He continued,

‘The climate here helps my aching bones, and the booze is cheap. I’ve made friends, although most of them think I’m crazy. I suppose I am sometimes!’ he mused.

‘Did you want another drink?’ I asked him, to break the momentary silence.

‘A large bourbon, with water and ice would be great, thanks, man.’

Back at the table, I clinked my glass against his. ‘Salut!’

We chatted a while longer and I told him about the work I was doing. His eyes glazed over. He nodded as I talked, but I sensed his mind was elsewhere.

‘I have to go now,’ I said, as I stood up and offered my hand.

‘Nice talking to you man, all the best and hope to see you again.’ He gave me a weak handshake from his seated position.

‘Yes, me too, my name’s Fred.’

‘I’m Michael, or Mike, also known as Mad Mike by my friends. Take care on your ride back to Es Cana.’

He waved over as I headed out of the door.

The bike had fallen over, but it was still there. I had not thought to secure it two hours before when I entered the bar. I figured it was safe parked opposite the police station.

With a slight wobble, I set off along the main road towards Es Cana. A car came straight at me and I had to swerve. Out of habit, I had started out on the left-hand side of the road. With a wrench of the handlebars, I switched to the right and just avoided a collision.

That could have been nasty!

 The End

Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.

We ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

Robert Fear’s RWISA Author Page

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